Press Release



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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For More Information:
David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell), Ann Hagan Webb (781 239 1182, 617 513 8442 cell), Barbara Dorris (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

Clergy sex abuse victims challenge Cardinal

They want him to hold public meeting about 2 recent ‘failings’

Group is upset Catholic official secretly returns criminal priest to parishes

SNAP also prods O’Malley to offer more abuse prevention training to kids


After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will blast Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley for

-- secretly putting an accused criminal priest into parishes despite his 2005 plea deal with prosecutors, and

-- breaking, for the 2nd year in a row, the US bishops’ conference policy on child sex abuse.

They will urge him to

a) rescind his ‘reckless’ decision about the recently-reassigned priest and

b) challenge him to hold an open public meeting to explain his secret move and his violation of national church sex abuse policy .


TODAY, Wednesday, April 30, 1:00 p.m.

Outside the Boston Catholic archdiocese headquarters, 2121 Commonwealth Ave, in Brighton, MA

Three-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( including a Missouri man who is the group’s long-time national director and a Boston therapist who is the group’s New England co-director


Several days ago, clergy sex abuse victims disclosed that Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley is putting an accused and suspended criminal priest secretly back in parishes without warning anyone.

In 2005, Fr. Jerome Gillespie was charged with four crimes after he solicited oral sex from a mother and her 12 year old child. Some of the charges were dropped though he essentially reached an Alford-type plea with prosecutors and for two years, a judge prohibited Gillespie from having contact with children.

Gillespie is returned to parish work

SNAP maintains that O’Malley is doing what bishops have done for decades (and still do): quietly moving an almost certain sex offender to unsuspecting parishes without warning, supposedly relying on the advice of therapists, using alleged alcohol to excuse his criminal acts while alerting neither the public nor the parishioners, and disclosing all this only after being confronted by the news media.

SNAP is also upset because for the second year in a row, church officials have found O’Malley breaking the bishops’ national sex abuse policy by refusing to offer abuse prevention training to 20% of the kids in the archdiocese. Related article

At the time of his crime, Gillespie was the pastor at St. John the Evangelist parish in Swampscott. He’s been helping at a Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Lynnfield recently and has also worked at parishes in Methuen, Lynn, Millis and Arlington.

CONTACT - David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell), Ann Hagan Webb (781 239 1182, 617 513 8442 cell), Barbara Dorris (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests